Here we are at Day Four of the journey. The journey to a life of peace, joy and purpose is found in Jesus Christ and lived out by us in the context of our days–and the midst of the people who populate our day!
There is an acrostic for J.O.Y. that I love: Jesus, Others & Yourself. JOY is found by focusing on Jesus first, then others and finally ourselves. We have dug deeply into Jesus and Ourselves. So, today, let’s look at the “O” of JOY: OTHERS.
How are your relationships with others? Faith was never meant to be isolated to Sundays or church-services. It is not meant only for ourselves and the ones we love. This is a criticalaspect of Christian living that unmasks many. Human nature does not do what Jesus did…it does not look at those who torture it and say, “Forgive them.”
There is no way to love one’s enemies without the love of Christ within. Examining your relationships with others will help you see where more of Christ is needed.
We live in a world of broken relationships. Resentments, bitterness and unforgive-ness plague most every family. Divorce is nearly as high in the Church as it is for secular couples. Hurt feelings run rampant in churches. It ought not be. It must not be if we are to fully enjoy the life Christ came to give us. The beauty of the relationship we have with God is meant to be reflected in every one of our personal relationships…at home, at work, at church, in the store…everywhere.
We have a high and holy calling in this area of life. Contrary to what we tend to think, conflicts (and the hurts that cause them) are one of the most beautiful gifts God entrusts to us. They are the opportunity to share in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering in a very tangible way. Christ came to reconcile us to the Father. Those who hurt us present the very same opportunity to us: we are to show what love really looks like! The ministry of reconciliation is a tremendous privilege.
SO, do your relationships feel heavenly or hurtful?
Do you have people you ‘forgive’ for hurting you but that you avoid?
Do you live with the saying, “I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget.”
How do you handle your emotions?
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of connecting with others?
Do you have pockets of resentments that need to be attended to?
Can people see the love God has for them in the way you treat others?
On that 1-10 scale we have been using, what rating would you place on your connection to others overall?
Until tomorrow…joining you in prayer for God to direct your faith future,